OTC: Oil industry navigates digital disruption

The oil and gas industry is learning its role in a digital disruption that for oil companies has involved primarily equipment sensors and big data analysis, but producers still have much to learn from other industries, speakers told a session May 3 at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

Eric Abecassis, Schlumberger chief information officer, said, “This is the opportunity to rethink and take advantage of digital technology that is happening everywhere. There are ways to change the way we are working to get to a new level.”

Industry has dealt with big data for a long time, but many companies are examining how to better use all their data on a real-time basis.

Schlumberger has moved to cloud computing for faster processing of its seismic data, Abecassis said.

Archana Deskus, chief information officer for Baker Hughes Inc., said oil and gas companies need to grasp digitalization or else face disruption themselves.

“The key disrupter isn’t the technology. It’s how we use the technology…it’s the ability to change in time to stay relevant,” Deskus said.

She noted that companies such as Amazon and Google consider how they can bring value to the consumer. “They start with the consumer in mind and what value can they bring to end consumers,” Deskus said.

“Oil and gas is using a molecule to improve life,” Deskus said, adding that industry has not directly addressed the end user but rather it has focused on automated rigs and other equipment.

Baker Hughes is merging with GE, she said, adding she expects the resulting combination will drive a new corporate strategy.

Thomas Moroney, vice-president of deepwater wells with Shell Exploration & Production Co., said Shell has used its digital technology to monitor its deepwater assets and to get the right information to the right person in a timely manner.

He said Shell also is improving its offshore system lifecycle management.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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